Get S#@T Done!



Chris Sulimay: There we go. Sounds like it might be time to start the podcast. John, what do you think?


John Palmieri:  I’m all for it. Let’s do it.


Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. So, hi everybody. Welcome back to the shop Talk podcast brought to you by 124Go. I am your [00:00:30] co-host Chris Sulimay and I’m sitting here with my very good buddy-


John Palmieri: John Palmieri.


Chris Sulimay: And we are really excited about sitting here today with you. It’s been a very busy, very busy-

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John Palmieri:  Wicked busy.


Chris Sulimay: Wicked busy Like wicked five-star review. Wicked busy few weeks and you know we’ve had a lot of what we talk about is real life, real salon, you know experience in working with you know over [00:01:00] 130 hairdressers that we work with and launching different initiatives. We’ve lost hand tied hair extensions recently. We’ve had you know a companywide price increase that’s still in the horizon. We’ve just had all kinds of different experiences that have led us to wanting to have this discussion today which John actually has no idea what I’m about to interview him on.


John Palmieri:  It’s going to be a surprise.


Chris Sulimay: It’s going to be a surprise but some of you work with groups out there and some of, you know, whether [00:01:30] that group is big or small you know have questions around how do we take an idea that’s in our head and then turn it into something that’s a real life system as well as getting the staff on board. How do we launch systems in our salons. And so that’s going to be sort of the topic of discussion today. And you know it just so happens that John, now I’m going to brag on you for a minute before I let you talk if that’s okay.


John Palmieri:  Do I owe you money?


Chris Sulimay: Maybe [laughter] [00:02:00] you know it just so happens that you’re one of the people in the industry who has learned how to, you know over time and experience and years to take something from an idea stage and then communicate it out in an effective way to where everybody in the company no matter what title they hold, what position they hold really gets it. And I think this is a valuable skill that most salon owners whether it’s big or small [00:02:30] could use  some support on, some talk on, some strategies around. And so that’s what I want to talk about a little bit today. And so, before I get into that and knowing that that’s the topic I’m going to introduce, does anything come top of mind for you. Like I guess I want to ask you initially, you owned a salon back in the-


John Palmieri:  Worcester, Massachusetts.


Chris Sulimay: Worcester, Massachusetts which is the-


John Palmieri:  Center of the universe.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Just in case you don’t know that. For years and I guess I want to know when you started your salon [00:03:00] all those years ago. Is this something that you were always good at or like put yourself back in the case of, “I was a salon once upon a time. We didn’t have systems, and this is kind of the journey that I had to go on to learn how to implement different things.”


John Palmieri:  Yeah, you know if I’m thinking back when I opened a salon you know I had a business partner,  it was the two of us. And I think that at the time – of course this was a while ago, before the war – my thought [00:03:30] was is that I’m going to open a business and we’re going to get like rich. This is going to be awesome. And about 40 years into it I wasn’t rich yet and I couldn’t figure out why. It’s the short version.   Because I thought I was smarter than that, I thought I could figure this out. And I couldn’t for whatever reason, you know , and at the time I was doing a lot of reading because I’m a reader by nature. I’m always reading business books and I was reading a magazine that was called “Cutter” magazine and it was the [00:04:00] precursor to a company that I ended up working with later, a consulting company out in Connecticut called “Strategies.” And I ended up hiring them to teach me how to get better at what I was doing. I guess I didn’t really know I needed systems because I probably didn’t know what they were to be honest,  but that was part of the process. “Hey John. One of the things you need, is you need systems.” And you know that’s started my journey.


Chris Sulimay: So, four years into owning a salon – by the way we have similar [00:04:30] stories – and what was the turning point of where, you know, “okay, I’m not rich” but what were some of those telltale signs that led you to sort of figure out, “I know I can do this by myself but there is an extra set of skills that I don’t have.” Do you remember was there a specific incident or anything like that or-


John Palmieri: I don’t know there was no particular incident. I just think I think you know when you’re stuck.   I think for a [00:05:00] lot of us we get stuck and we don’t know why. Where, I’m just stuck, and you don’t know what’s wrong. You can’t quite figure it out. You just know that wherever you’re at right at the moment is not bringing you joy and you’re trying to figure out how to get unstuck.

And again, for me the I’ve just been a learner by nature. For me, I’d rather do anything else if it requires [00:05:30] learning, if I’m going to learn something new, I don’t care what it is. I learned how to paint the house. I don’t want to paint houses, But I want to learn how and that was just my nature. I was just a constant learner and so again, that magazine did a lot for me because there was always lots of different articles on different salons on what they were doing and how they were running their business. Of course then you dip into the research of “hey I want to talk to the salon owner what do you do. How do you make this happen?” And you just end up becoming a collector of information. [00:06:00] And then one day you collect enough and you start acting on it.


Chris Sulimay: Now it’s such a good… It’s interesting and I think hairdressers in general I think there’s a large presence of people that consider themselves learners by nature. Probably because of the nature of the business,it’s always changing, evolving.

We talk a lot about just a fact it’s not an insult, but it’s just the fact that most [00:06:30:00] salon owners today, independent salon owners are a hairdresser that got busy, the clients you know all said to them “you should open your own place” and they did.

It’s interesting about owning a salon that you want to grow, I think it’s really a valid statement if I say “anybody can open up a small space and exist there for a very long time, if they have pretty [00:07:00] low overhead and they are pretty good at growing clients just like a regular hairdresser.” Small space, you don’t have a huge rent, you’re not going to… But when you get that idea in your head that comes in like “I want this thing to turn into a real business and I don’t know some stuff.” And that happened to me when I was 27 years old and I was considering selling my property. I had a property that was worth a pretty lot of money and I was like I’ll just sell the property and [00:07:30] you know go do whatever. And I spent a weekend at an educational event, kind of by accident and so and I heard some things like “oh, shit this is the stuff that I didn’t know that I need to do” and so now your life looks much different. And as far you know you’re kind of known as the systems guy around here and so talk to me a little bit maybe about I want to give a full circle view really fast, to talk a little bit about [00:08:00] how you spend your time differently now versus all those years ago before you even knew what systems existed and what your life kind of is looking like at the moment.


John Palmieri: I’ll have  to think on that a little bit and you know we’ll get there. You know, I think we do a lot of things in our lives, a lot of things in our work and we don’t even know we’re doing them, because it just becomes second nature. I mean I’m going to use a haircutting is a perfect example. I can do a haircut, talk to you for 30 to 45 minutes and [00:08:30] not remember what I did. But it looks great!  Because it’s that muscle memory thing, your hands just do the work. And I think a lot of what I do now is the same thing it’s just muscle memory. So if I have to think about it for a minute it’s going to take me a second. So if I’m thinking about what needs to be done. One of the things I’ve learned – and I forgot who told me but somebody told me this but- if it ain’t written down it don’t exist.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Say that again because that’s super important.


John Palmieri: If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist. It’s got to be [00:09:00] written down someplace and the one phrase I also use a lot is something that I call “Institutional Memory.”

Chris Sulimay: What is institutional memory?


John Palmieri: Institutional memory means we used to do this, but we don’t do it anymore and nobody knows why. “Didn’t we used to do that?” “Yeah but we forgot. We stopped doing it.” Is it written down? No. So, there’s reason number one, reason number two time goes by. People come people go and that institutional memory left with them. And [00:09:30] so now nobody knows that we used to do that and how we do it and why we do it.


Chris Sulimay: So is institutional memory one of the things that holds us back from writing things down or it’s one of the-


John Palmieri: It’s both, it’s institutional memory is one of the things, it’s actually a lot of things. Institutional memory is one of those things that keeps us from writing things down because “Well, I know it, why do I need to write down for?” So, there’s that side. The other side is when it does come time that the person who has that memory leaves [00:10:00] it goes with them.

Chris Sulimay: It’s gone.


John Palmieri: And we also use institutional memory as an excuse or it holds us back. What I mean by that is “Well, we used to do it this way and that worked great.” And as you’ll often hear me say, what worked for us 10 years ago doesn’t work now. It just doesn’t. We’re in a different world. I didn’t say all of what we used to do doesn’t work. Customer service is still customer service.   How we deliver customer service now is different. We used to call people [00:10:30] up on the phone and say “Hey how was your haircut?” Now I call people up on the phone and they’re like “What are you calling me for?” Because I still need to reach out to those customers but now we’ll do it through text messaging. Now we’ll do it through surveys. I’m not calling you anymore. So, you know it’s both something that we need in our lives, that institutional memory, but it’s also something that holds us back occasionally because we use it as an excuse for doing something else.


Chris Sulimay: Totally. So, I’m going to I’m going to decipher some of what you just said and I want I’m going to talk [00:11:00] hairdresser for a minute. Even though John is very much a hairdresser you know and still to this day every now and again one of the girls will pin you down to give them a haircut or something and one of them… And the other day I asked, “hey, John can you have somebody check those foils?” and you looked at me and laughed and said “I’ll check the foil.” [Laughter] so you know sometimes…


John Palmieri: “I’m standing right here!” [Laughter]


Chris Sulimay: So sometimes you forget because we get used… I have a new institutional memory of the way you operate on a daily basis. So now, [00:11:30] I want to get specific. And I’m having John tell the story backwards a little bit right now only because what I want you to know is if I watch you operate on a daily it’s easy for me to forget you’re a hairdresser, because you spend so much time in operations, you spend so much time in coaching, you spend so much time coaching managers and then implementing systems that take a lot of work that doesn’t look like hairdresser work. And what I want [00:12:00] to sell on this particular podcast, whether you’re literally an independent stylist and you’re wondering “how do I create a marketing plan for myself.” And “how do I create a menu and how do I create a price list and how do I do all those things “ those are very different jobs than what a hairdresser does. However, a business owner needs to do that, so independent small salon owner, large salon owner, multiple location which happens to be our circumstance. Now [00:12:30] I want to relive probably a very painful two days for you or maybe five days ,which was when we recently launched hand tied hair extensions here and we had Lindsey Guzman come in from ELLB extensions and she did an amazing job certifying.


John Palmieri: She’s amazing by the way, shout out to Lindsay.


Chris Sulimay: Absolutely. That’s E-L-L-B.


John Palmieri:  [Incomprehensible][laughter]. Let’s just make it [incomprehensible] that Lindsay Guzman L.B [00:13:00] Salon in Denver Colorado. We love her, tell her we sent you.

Chris Sulimay: Absolutely. If you’re interested in launching hand tieds or getting certified in that, she’s a great resource. That said during that entire training, you know, I had the opportunity to take that training as a hairdresser, so I got to play. There was about 20 of us all doing models. You attended that full training but you were seated at a computer the entire time and you were working through all of the problems and challenges [00:13:30] that could occur as we launch this in six different salons with 20 different people.


John Palmieri: What does  inventory look like, what are the supplies that we need, what does  training look like as we move forward, how long are we going to book these services for, is there going to be a manual for this blah, blah, blah.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah, frequently asked question, how does it look on the Website- you worked with Amber on that and different things. And so let’s start to take a look at that weekend for a [00:14:00] minute and talk about from the moment that training was starting to happen and we knew that was coming in. What were some of the first things that you did, not maybe approach but what was the first thing that you took a look at to say “Okay, we’re about to launch a major undertaking here that we’re going to have to communicate both to our stylists as well as the consumer, as well as the inventory, as well…” So, we have a lot of moving parts here. [00:14:30] What’s like one of the first activities that you do to align yourself or get yourself prepared to start to unpack that?


John Palmieri: Well, this is part of just being a business owner in general. What I mean by that is one of the traits I think about being a good leader. Whether it’s a hair salon or anything else for that matter. I call it being able to predict the future.   I can predict the future. What I mean by that is it’s going to snow tomorrow between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. [00:15:00] There’s going to be that day. I know it. I know what’s going to happen. I know when Andrea comes in this afternoon she’s going to want this, I’m not going to have time for it. I’m going to do it anyways and I’m going to run behind it. I know it. It’s the same thing with almost anything we do, it’s just a little bit different when we work out at our level where we got six salons.

So, in my head I predict the future. I know it sounds silly but I’m looking forward what’s going to happen. I know what’s going to happen. I know we’re going to need [00:15:30] five different kinds of beads and we’re not going to have them. I know that. Do I know how to do extensions? No. Do I know whether I need beads? Yeah. Do I know that there’s going to be a challenge with the call center booking enough time? Yeah I know that.


Chris Sulimay: Or the front desk. T


John Palmieri: Right. Do I know that they’re going to want to have scripting because when a client asks me what do I say? “I’m going to prepare that.” And so basically, I’m predicting a list. I create a list of all the things that I know are going to happen in the future and just a random list that [00:16:00] doesn’t have to be in any order. Just write them down. That’s going to happen. This is going to happen. This is going to happen. This is probably going to happen. And you just create a list.


Chris Sulimay: I know that you happen to use a tool.


John Palmieri: I use ASANA.


Chris Sulimay: A-S-A-N-A. Yeah.


John Palmieri:  It’s free for small groups. I use the free version because I’m cheap.


Chris Sulimay: It’s just an app. It’s in your phone.


John Palmieri: It’s on my phone right now. I mean I have my phone and it’s got, you know, my list of all the things I need to do today. You know, and  it’s done in the same format, [00:16:30] I predict the future of what my task list looks like. Here it is. I break it down by days I break it down to categories and I always have my top 10 list, my top 10 list is what are at least top 10 things I need to get done today.


Chris Sulimay: So, here’s step one, it’s predicting the future. And it’s really sitting down, getting away from the chair and taking a look at “Okay. This is a thing that I’m going to launch here all the necessary parts and pieces that I’m going to have to address [00:17:00] in some way, shape or form.”


John Palmieri:  “I know that these are going to be issues, let’s get ahead of them.”


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. And so, you know as again small salon I’m thinking about maybe I’m about to have a retail promotion.


John Palmieri: You’re going to have flyers you know so [incomprehensible] predict the future. Am I going to have enough stock? Do I have flyers printed up? Are the discount codes in the computer? Does my staff have product knowledge to sell the stuff? If I don’t, if I run out, can I get it quick? [00:17:30] Like how fast can I get it. What am I going to sell it for? You know all of those… Am I going to make money? So, all those things pop into my head when you say “product launch.”


Chris Sulimay: Okay  so now here we are, we’ve done our brain dump. We’ve got it down in ASANA and we’ve got our list.


John Palmieri:  You can write it on paper. I like ASANA because I got my phone attached to my face, permanently.


Chris Sulimay: So great. Now I write my list, I feel really good. What do I get next with that list?


John Palmieri: [00:18:00] I talk to people. So, I’m going to talk to about as many people as I possibly can that are involved in the process. Because you’re going to know stuff that I can’t predict. I just don’t know. “Hey you think about this? What about that? Oh yeah, that’s a great idea.” You know here’s one you know when we do a hand tied extension sometimes we have to cover them. What does that look like? Well, the first couple of days we put them on top of the washer machine and color them, which is a mess. Well, guess what? You go to Amazon and they make these great [00:18:30] little clips that you clip it on put the suction cups on your mirror and  you can you can do it right there. Yeah. So, I’m going to talk to people. “What do you predict for the future?” And I don’t use that language. But I’ll say “hey you know what some things are you going to need, you have my number. You think of anything that I might forget, any concerns you might have, give me a shout.” Through what I know, through conversations you have with people who are directly involved in the process you get about [00:19:00] 98% of what you need to work on. There’re always one or two things that slip by. That’s life. But I get 98% of it.


Chris Sulimay: So as the owner or as the leader or as the independent, I don’t have to have all the



John Palmieri:  You don’t and here’s the thing – you’re not going to.


Chris Sulimay: Talk a little bit about that. Just shoot from the hip on owners think they need that you know they take all of the responsibilities on their own [00:19:30] back. They think all the ideas have to come from them. Talk a little bit about the dangers in that.


John Palmieri:  Well you said something kind of interesting the other day I’m going to use this if I can. We were having a training session with our call center. And we do this early, we do it 8 o’clock  in the morning until 9 o’clock and we do on Wednesday mornings and we’re working on scripting, and you know I said to the team I said “So for your assignment I need you to create an opening how are you going to answer the phone, how are you going to [00:20:00] hang up the phone, how are you going to put somebody on hold and what are you going to say when you unhold them.” And I said you know “you guys figure it out, come back next week and we’ll go over it.” And you were like “I would’ve done that myself. And I would’ve told you this is what we’re going to say.” Why? You know first of all I ain’t got that kind of time. Secondly, they’re doing it all day. Who’s got a better idea of what needs to be said and what doesn’t need to be said. This gets complicated, but you [00:20:30] asked. People always support what they help build. So, I want you involved in a process. And four I didn’t say I was giving up my responsibility to edit. So, and it is always a challenge with the editing part because you don’t want to come into a room and say “oh no it’s all wrong. I don’t like it. Let’s do this instead.” It’s got to be give and take. So I’ll come in and say “hey, here’s my feedback. What do you guys think about that?”  We’ll talk through it. We’ll experiment [00:21:00] together.

But you know having other people involved in a process, understanding there are other people in a room would do this for a living. And they’ve got some really good ideas. And they’re not coming in as a wet blanket smothering the whole thing because you think you know better. I’ll own that myself. That’s a lesson I have learned with my team. I would start to build leaders in my company and I’d throw a wet blanket on it all because I thought I knew more.

Chris Sulimay: So, what are the things that [00:21:30] like when you come in it’s like a wet blanket. What are some of the things that salon owners do to kind of shoot themselves in the foot or make some progress and then pull back. Or how did that happen for you maybe?


John Palmieri: Well somebody would go in and they would do something I would correct them.   “You know what? You didn’t do that right. Let me show you how to do it.” “Well John what’d you have me do it for if you’re just going to come in and redo it for me?” I mean it’s terrible. You know I mean I remember from things like building the branding [00:22:00] for my salon. You know they got so bad that the guy who did my logo, I redid it


Chris Sulimay: Not surprised. [Laughter]


John Palmieri:  And here’s the thing. This is dumb, but this is an example of what we do as owners.   The name of the salon was called “Scissors.” I wanted a pair of scissors as part of the logo and I couldn’t get what I wanted. So I had to draw them [00:22:30] myself. And I sat there for two days with four or five different sharpies trying to find the right tip… I mean it’s a disease, I’ll own it. But that’s what we do as salon owners. I paid that guy a lot of money to come up with a perfectly good logo and I had to redo it. Guess what? He’s probably not talking to me anymore. And that’s what we do. That’s a perfect example.


Chris Sulimay: Well and it’s like I’m listening to you and sometimes I’ll have a moment cross my mind where I’m almost embarrassed or [00:23:00] ashamed off.


John Palmieri:   Because we’ve probably done the exact same thing as a salon owner. Exact same thing.


Chris Sulimay: Totally. That’s my point. And it’s this desire to you know I don’t know if I’m observing this correctly or not, but what I’ve learned about going from salon owner- no, from a stylist owner to a real live salon owner or business owner if you will, is – and Brian [00:23:30] talks about this a lot – the practitioner and he uses a different word and then the person that actually owns it. And the difference is, I set a course in motion by enrolling people in the group. And then I allow them to take ownership. And to do it. It’s in the allowing part  where I- I mean I’m talking for myself right now – [00:24:00] still like it’s I don’t want to be the coach, I want to play the game. And that’s where we stumble and that’s where you’ll see a salon… You know sometimes the rally around somebody is a really talented stylist. Really you know a great people person but doesn’t see how they get in the way of progress. Because they’re so talented, they want to shoot for perfection. And I know with you it doesn’t have to be perfect as long as it gets done [00:24:30] in a way… And it gets done to a point where it’s like that, I don’t want to say good enough, I’m making it sound bad.


John Palmieri: Well you’re right. Most of it. Here’s the part well what I’ll add on to that. It will be perfect. It just won’t be perfect today. I think the difference is understanding patience. So, for instance, I’m creating protocol right now on a variety of different things. Process that we’re doing. I know it’s not going to be  right. That’s going to be [00:25:00] 70% there. Here’s the good news, if I had somebody else do it, it would be 70% right. Because, that’s not going to be perfect. The challenge isn’t is it going to be perfect or not. Because I don’t want mediocre stuff going out there. But what I do know is I’m going to give it 70% today. And you know what, I’m going to think about it for a day or two or three a month from now. And I’m going to… Here’s the thing this morning driving into work today. I’ve decided I’m going to redo [00:25:30] all of the coaching documentation that I have from the managers with their staff. Why? Well because since then I’ve been reading a lot more.  Since then I’ve had different experiences. Since then I’ve worked with my managers and realized that some of the stuff I created wasn’t easy to understand.


Chris Sulimay: And the managers have created things at work.


John Palmieri: Behind my back. Those silly people went and  created their own paperwork. And you know what?


Chris Sulimay: It’s better.


John Palmieri: It’s better than mine. And that’s it. [00:26:00] It’ll get a 100%. It’s a journey. You know what they say it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. It’s anything like that’s a journey you have to wait to get there. We’re impatient. We want the perfect now.   Just like me with the logo. That was a perfect example. I wanted a perfect logo today. If you can’t do it I’ll draft it myself. Where if I just talked more to the graphic artist maybe kicked around a little bit. Allowed him to percolate. He probably could come up with a better idea than the one I did. But I shut him down [00:26:30].


Chris Sulimay: Okay. So now I’m going to go on to a couple of more specific things, as we’re here. One of the places where you spend a lot of time is working with managers, now you coach hairdressers as well all day long, but it’s where I see the biggest impact of your time is in that time that you’re able to spend with the managers. I want to  ask about them a little bit right now because inside of our company we have six managers all of which [00:27:00] operate salons either they’re just out of million bucks or way over or multi. What are some of the most effective things that you see those individuals doing with their time that are making the biggest difference like I know we have we have some locations that even though we’ve been around for a long time that are really experiencing some good growth. And so what are some of the key activities that you see them doing [00:27:30] that’s making a big impact?


John Palmieri:  Conversations. You know I think that being able to sit with team members and come to them with an authentic conversation- and I’ll talk a little bit more about authentic in a minute- and how I can help you grow. And like all things, we come to most conversations with preconceived knowledge [00:28:00]. “You’re lazy. You can’t sell retail. You don’t say anything to the clients about rebooking. And I’m going to come here and tell you how to do it.” And we call that coaching. Let me tell you right how to rebook a client. Let me tell you how to sell retail, if you just do what I tell you, you’ll be fine.” And the frustration we have when I’m coaching the managers, “John, they won’t listen to me.” I’m not listening to you either, you know there’s rapport building, [00:28:30] number one step with coaching is building rapport. Who are these people? “Well they work with me” no. Who are they? What are their dreams? What are their aspirations? “I want to have kids in two years. I want to buy a house in three. I want to go work on our you know, our premium brand salon, Salon 124” What is it that they want out of life? And until you understand, and I say what makes people tick. You know you can’t coach them. Once you understand what makes people tick and you build some report it has to be some trust there. [00:29:00] You know right now you’re my manager and I respect you. Because you have the title but that’s not the same as trust. You know so you’ve got some trust building to do. And so, for many of our managers that was a six-month process of rebuilding trust, because here’s the thing. It’s also really easy to say “well corporate said, it’s not me.” So there has to be that rebuilding of trust sometimes, rapport building, “I know my team.” You don’t really know them. You can dig a little deeper. You know when I can walk [00:29:30] into a room and I can tell you that what somebody’s husband’s name is and their two kids   and you can’t, there’s something wrong there. And I mean they aren’t even my direct employee. And I know they got two kids and she’s pregnant with the third. And you know her husband’s name is Jake.


Chris Sulimay: And I’m going to translate a little bit and or I’m going to add a curveball to this. And if you’re a small salon and you think you know them really well maybe because you party with them [00:30:00].   


John Palmieri: Right, that’s not the same.


Chris Sulimay: You guys have dinner, you hang out. I’ve seen so many small medium. Even a little bigger size businesses, salons. I’ve been in these shoes right where I’ve got the rapport that we have and the type of trust that we have. I know we talk a lot about types of trust. I can leave my wallet on the table and know that they’re not going to take any money out of the wallet. But do they trust me when I’m implementing a business decision? [00:30:30] Do they trust me when I say we’re going to have a price increase or we’re going to move locations or we’re going to you know whatever that might be.


John Palmieri:  One of the hardest lessons or greatest lessons I ever learned is when I was working with the consulting company. We took my entire team to the consulting company in Connecticut. And we had a three-day retreat. And after the third day, the gentleman who was leading the program walked up to me and said “you know John, your team loves you. They would take a bullet for you.” [00:31:00] I was like “that made me feel good. Really?” And he was like, “yeah, but they don’t trust you.” [Laughter] I was like “how does that happen? How does my team take a bullet for me, but they don’t trust me?” “Well, it’s like, remember when you said-” -we have done a renovation-  “you were going to lower the devanity in the bathroom because part of that your height, not the staff’s height. When did your [incomprehensible]” I said “a year ago.” “Remember those matches you were going to get for their feet because [00:31:30] their feet hurt? When did you tell me you were going to do that?” “Like six months ago.” It’s the not following through on what you said you were going to do. Whether that’s division of your company, whether that’s who you decide to be who you’re going to pick as leaders. Whether it’s if you raise or lower devanity in the bathroom. That’s the kind of trust that your team needs to have. That’s not the type or trust or the rapport of friends. That’s different rapport and different trust.


Chris Sulimay: And so, it’s interesting, because if you know if you listen [00:32:00] to some of John’s language direct rapport and this and that and you say “well, that  may or may not apply to me.” But I promise you it directly applies. And if in fact you know your team so well that maybe they know too much or have seen too much it’s the exact opposite thing. I might as the leader- and this this was in my case. I might have to spend some time showing them that I’m going to have a new set of behaviors meaning [00:32:30] I’m going to be a business owner and it might take a long time before they finally go “oh this is a real thing. We’re actually making changes here and there is some progress” and not everybody always likes that. And it can be really scary. But it’s, it’s funny to me that I asked you the question to go back to it. Like what are some of the things that you see managers doing the most effectively. And your answer was ‘conversations” because you know it’s almost like [00:33:00] is it going to be you know Excel spreadsheets, is going to be you know am I going to have to and it’s like no-


John Palmieri:  No. I love a good Excel spreadsheet


Chris Sulimay: I know that, I know that. [Laughter] Like you know since we’re alone in this room. I don’t want to get you too excited in Excel spreadsheets.


John Palmieri: Remember that logo I told you about? I made that in Excel.


Chris Sulimay: I believe. But that was really about conversation. And then the types of. So you know, now that I’m past the trust building part and I’ve done that. What are the next. What’s the [00:33:30] next piece to that conversation?


John Palmieri: You know let’s have it like a pretend conversation. So if I know that one of the things you’re trying to do is save money for a house. Great. Love that. “My husband and I we just got married a year ago and I’m trying to buy a house.” Perfect. You know “what do you… I’m not going to tell you. What do you need to get there?” “Well, John, come on I need to make more money” “Okay fine. What are you doing now to make more money?” “Well I’m working a lot.” “Okay, let’s look at your numbers.” Now. At this point I like going to numbers because [00:34:00] numbers tell a story. And too often we use- now, I feel we use numbers as a weapon.  “You’re supposed to have 80 clients. You know based on the hours you work you should be having about 80 clients a month. You got 60. You’re not reaching your goal of course you’re not going to make any money. I wish I could help you but just get out there and pass out referral cards.” That’s not a coaching conversation and it doesn’t help. You know the interesting thing is not that you need 80 clients that’s your goal. And that you have 60. The interesting thing [00:34:30] is for six months in a row you’ve had 60 clients. That’s what’s interesting. And so, what I want to ask is “Why are you stuck?” You know, because we’ll get 80 remember the patience thing. We’ll get there because I can predict the future. The future is if I know you’re following through a process and systems, you will get there. I’m not worried about it,   I’m worried that right now you’re stuck, I’m not going to beat you up about the 80 fact. Let’s forget about the 80 for a minute. [00:35:00] Let’s talk about 60, 6 months in a row. Why is that happening? And here’s the thing we’re going to do. I’m going to ask you you’re doing it all day, and here’s the funny thing I have this conversation a lot. We talk about retention because that’s a challenge for stylists.


Chris Sulimay: And retention. You know if you’re a small salon owner. I’m going to argue that if you’re listening to this and you own a little salon. And when I say a little, I mean I was a little salon owner, 18 people it was [00:35:30] a single location. Retention is a number that I believe most of you listening don’t understand.


John Palmieri:  or aren’t paying attention to.


Chris Sulimay: or aren’t paying attention to.


John Palmieri: Or both. So just to make this conversation easier let’s say new client retention. You got 10 new clients that came in this month. The national average is within 90 days, three of them will come back. We’ll talk about that beeper in another [00:36:00] podcast. But three out of 10 are going to come back, Aand so, if I’m coaching you, I’m looking at your numbers and I’m saying you know “your attention you’re getting plenty of new clients but for some reason you know Chris you are not keeping them.” And I’ll ask this question because this is about I believe it’s one of three things. It’s your people skills. Which means maybe your kind of shy, you don’t open up well,  you struggle with conversation. Two, it’s your consultation. I can be friendly and bubbly and a whole bunch of fun, but I forget [00:36:30] to do a proper consultation. Or third it’s your technical skill and I believe it’s one of those three and I’ll say to a staff member “it’s one of these three. Which one do you think it is?” And you’d be amazed and maybe you shouldn’t be that people will say “oh it’s my technical skills, it’s my people skills,my consultations aren’t very good.” Perfect. Let’s work on that. “Well where do you want to start? So tell me what you do now.” “Well this is what I do now.” “So we can both agree it’s not working. [00:37:00] What do you think you could do different?  I’m not going to tell you.” Now we may get there, we may say “Well John, I just don’t know. Help me.”” Be glad to, but before we get there. I’m going to sap every slice of knowledge you have on your brain about what you know about retention, because you may already know the answer. you’re just not doing it.” And that’s another conversation.


Chris Sulimay: Absolutely. And when we hear you know I know you’re listening to us talk. We’re a very balanced [00:37:30] group. We spend a lot of time on technical   We spend a lot of time on technical training at all levels. And the inspiration piece both externally – so, bringing people in – as well as internally- our own team training each other. And so, we don’t ever want you to leave out the technical piece because we know that beautiful work is a really easy place to start. If you’re already [00:38:00] there right now it’s about learning some really just key conversations that you can have inside of that client conversation. Well I think we’ve gotten a lot of good out of this conversation I guess what I’d like to do is maybe, ask you. Number one is there anything you feel like we’re leaving on the table? So that’s question number one, I’ve got two that I want to ask you.


John Palmieri: At the moment, no, I don’t. But I’m sure I’ll come up with one before we go.


Chris Sulimay: Well, the second part and  piece is. [00:38:30] You know I’m a I’m a salon leader or I’m trying to be a better manager and you know if you had to give me a place, one place that I could maybe start or one you know activity or action that I could take to start to get my foot in the right direction what would that be?


John Palmieri: Start reading, watch videos whatever it is that you like to do. It’s funny now- I watch a lot. I don’t watch them. I listen to them in  my car. [00:39:00] Because YouTube now lets you have a video playing without the screen shutting off. So, I will listen to videos like a podcast in the car. I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek right now. I’ve always been a big fan of John Maxwell. I read a lot of blogs that come across my email stream. I read a lot of books and then that’ll be first. Second thing find a mentor and it doesn’t have to be somebody that you have to pay money for but there’s probably somebody [00:39:30] in a different business you know, you can talk to. You know “what do you do? How do you work?” You know here’s something funny, one of our salon managers here is in contact with a salon manager at a different company who used to work here, and they talk. “Hey, how do you do this? How do you do that?” We’re practically in competition with each other and yet the managers talk. You know, start a conversation, connect with other people, you know learn from them and of course do your own research. [00:40:00] If you’re a reader- read, if you’re a listener- podcast. This one’s pretty good. If you’re a video person- YouTube’s full of stuff. However you take information in there’s some place for you to get more.


Chris Sulimay: And then on top of that I’m going to add- take action. And the reason why I say that is because I’ve always been a listener of things.


John Palmieri: But we get stuck on that.


Chris Sulimay: We get stuck and right it’s like I listen to something I feel really good. I feel super motivated but it’s that action piece that I’ve learned [00:40:30] that helps me solidify my new understandings, my new belief and then bring whatever  it is to life.


John Palmieri: When I listen to something, watch something or read something, I grab my phone and I talk to it and I create action steps for me because I need to do it right then. Because if I don’t and I don’t always have a pencil and paper handy. So, I just do a voice recording you know as I did the other day. “Hey, redo the onboarding coaching documents,” that’s my action. I got that from listening to a [00:41:00] podcast that I was in the car listening to.

Chris Sulimay: I send myself an email. I do the exact same thing, I send myself an email. So, I think we covered a ton of great material here, what a great conversation this was to have and so I know if you liked what you heard today, please press the SUBSCRIBE button, please subscribe to this podcast. It’s, you know this is something we’re doing out of a labor of love and we really just want to help people be better in their salons and behind their chair and so subscribe [00:41:30], if you would there’s something else we’d like to ask you to do.


John Palmieri: [Laughter] Write a wicked good review!


Chris Sulimay: Wicked good review.


John Palmieri: Five star.


Chris Sulimay: Five stars.


John Palmieri:  Five stars in French, remember “wickeed” means Five.

Chris Sulimay:Those reviews really help us to move up a bit in that podcast world and it helps listeners find us who might want to listen to us. So, we’d really appreciate that. You can also follow us on Instagram @124.go as well as YouTube on 124go [00:42:00] all one-word Salon education.

John Palmieri:  Hey we got a Website coming up soon.


Chris Sulimay: We have a Website launching April 1st. What is that going to be?


John Palmieri: What is it going to be? It’s going to be awesome.


Chris Sulimay:


John Palmieri: Just nice and easy.


Chris Sulimay: Boom! I love it. And so, hope you’re listening. By the way if you have any questions about anything you heard today and just want to reach out feel free message us [00:42:30] on Instagram. We’d be super responsive with you and would love to have more conversations about this. So again, thank you so much for listening everybody and until the next time we will see you later.


John Palmieri: Thank you.

Chris Sulimay: Bye.